The Food of the Gods honoured in Bastia – 2nd Annual Chocolate Show

Salon de Chocolat de Bastia Oct 2013 025This is, one of my favourite shows, and whenever I can, I try to attend. Over several years, the direction was usually Paris, and this year for the second edition here in Corsica, my choice of direction went to Bastia (north of the island), where I explored this very exciting event that I had been waiting for quite impatiently, I may add.

Let’s view what this show would reveal

Imagine 2600m2 of vacant space, where 105 stands and over 100 exhibitors (of which fifteen came from the mainland) presented their extremely tempting creations and products. And as we are discussing numbers here, you might like to learn that during last year’s show, 10 tons of chocolate was actually sold – those present, sold the equivalent to their Christmas sales .. a reminder too, last year brought 30.000 visitors over the three days, which was a very successful score, and all in all they expected over 35.000 this year ..
If you take into account the local economical impact, we are averaging 2 million euros and keeping in mind the fact that the chocolate sector in Corsica represents over 30 million euros – with 100 ‘chocolatiers’/ pastry makers, composed of over 350 employees. Don’t you find these figures overwhelming? normally, considering the size of the island I would say ‘yes’ – however, where both are concerned, you can expect unbelievable consequences, and most amazing surprises.                                                                                                                 Salon de Chocolat de Bastia Oct 2013 027

Returning to our 2nd edition this year, where the presence of world champions was to be seen: Mikael Azouz, Francis Miot and where competitions were composed of the most innovative concept, the most inviting stand (in every respect) and the most original, finest cupcake, accompanied by the prettiest sugar icing.

Conferences, displays, tasting and lively communication form a world of intense attention for many, for the world of chocolate is a serious affair, where creation and subtle imagination blend and offer extraordinary results. There’s a saying which states ‘9 people out of 10 love chocolate, and the 10th is lying ..’

There’s no doubt about it, chocolate is an intriguing world of developing, improving and exploiting the senses. From the Ivory Coast to Venezuela, Madagascar to Sao Tomé, Brazil back to the west of Africa, and remembering Indonesia, chocolate beans continue to mature whereupon the world’s market takes over for the dispatching and fabricating of one of the most sought after delicacies ever discovered – for there is chocolate and … chocolate.

One tastes chocolate as one would taste wine. A ritual where normally five senses move into action:

visual, touch, sound, smell and taste.  Of course there are years better than others, here again similar to wine – and 27 different types of cacao, 300 different flavors and 400 separate aromas, leaves you dreaming doesn’t it ..

Benefits?                                                                                                                                                                   – Salon de Chocolat de Bastia Oct 2013 014a complete and energising aliment

– rich in minerals, vitamins and fibres
contains molecules that have stimulating and euphoric properties

A worthwhile point too, is to aim for chocolate that holds at least 60-75% of cacao, and of course, dark chocolate is the wisest choice, always – amateurs will always direct their selections to dark.

Salon de Chocolat de Bastia Oct 2013 015

Every year in France, we consume almost 7 kilos of chocolate individually, and there are many prestigious names, perpetuating with merited pride and devotion. I do believe it is an art, within which many proceed through passion and a certain search for perfection, consisting of hard work, a subtle blend of aromas, and a forcible imaginative sensitivity.

A striking highlight during this year’s event has been with the presence of Pascal Guerreau ‘chocolatier‘ (Paris 17), who spent the whole three days elaborating a F1 car (the exact replica of Prost’s from 1998), with 500 kilos of chocolate – I don’t know if you can imagine the work involved here too, where temperatures are strictly surveyed, and detail/form displayed with elegance and style (image attached of the 1st day).
I also found the chocolate champagne glasses were innovative and very attractive, an original idea for the festive season too.

Salon de Chocolat de Bastia Oct 2013 033

Corsica, with her natural raw materials is well in place to be very much part of this global view, and is certainly in line for the continuity and further elaboration of high standard products. If you haven’t been able to attend as yet, keep this moment in mind for an eventual trip here which could very well fall in line with your Halloween holidays!
“So noble a confection, more than nectar & ambrosia, the true food of the gods..”

                                                                                      Salon de Chocolat de Bastia Oct 2013 004

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